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The infants of Aylroe cillín remembred

History was made in West Clare last weekend last when mass was celebrated for the first time in Aylroe cillín, the infants burial place on the hill overlooking the Shannon Estuary. The mass was celebrated by retired Mill Hill Missionary, Fr Tom McGrath, a native Labasheeda, who is attached to the Kilmurry McMcMahon-Labasheeda parish. There was a large attendance of locals and people from surrounding areas at the mass, which was at the request of the landowner, Professor Michael Hayes, who organised it with Pat Clancy. All were welcomed to the mass by Fr McGrath, who spent 40 years with the Mill Hill Missionary Fathers in western Kenya. The cillín, or chidren’s burial ground on the Hill of Aylroe, contains in excess of 100 children’s graves, all unidentified, going back centuries. The ground is overgrown with gorse and furze and is overlooking the River Shannon. Fr McGrath thanked the attendance and had special prayers for the unbaptised children, the forgotten …

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Foynes Tower controls flying once again

THE clock at Foynes historic air traffic control tower, will be turned back to the glorious early days of aviation on July 5 and 6 next, as the 75th anniversary of the first ever commercial transatlantic flight is celebrated. Organisers of the Foynes-Shannon 75th Anniversary Air Show, which will mark the landing in July 1939 of the Pan American Airways Yankee Clipper flying boat that brought the first commercial flight across the Atlantic, have confirmed that the restored ATC tower at the facility will be the control base for the spectacular air show. Officers from the Air Traffic Control base at Shannon Airport will transfer over to the historic Foynes base for the two air show extravaganzas, which are set to be attended by over 10,000 people. The two spectacular displays will amount to the biggest air- show of the year in Ireland, as more aircraft than any other such event in the country will take to the skies and …

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Fr Harry gives his take on faith

Former Clare hurling manager, Fr Harry Bohan features prominently in a new book edited by former RTÉ broadcaster, John Quinn. Entitled Credo Personal Testimonies of Faith, the publication features interviews conducted in 2013 by John Quinn, who travelled around Ireland to meet a host of well-known personalities. He asked them questions about the God they believe in and why they believe; the origins of their belief; doubts they have encountered in dealing with mystery; how central belief is to their life and work; prayer-life; the afterlife; faith mentors and much more. The answers he received were spontaneous, honest and rich in diversity. Offering a fascinating insight into belief and its practice, Credo includes contributions from former Clare hurling manager, Harry Bohan; former Meath football manager, Séan Boylan; Benedictine nun and international leader for peace and justice, Joan Chittister; actor, Frank Kelly, politician, David Norris; writer, Alice Taylor; GAA commentator, Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh and many more. Each interview was conducted face to …

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Clare’s German links on new app

Ardnacrusha ESB Hydroelectric Station and Fanore Cemetery are featured in the newly launched German Traces in Ireland, a free, downloadable app that marks locations in Ireland with German connections past and present. Ardnacrusha,  on the river Shannon, a huge undertaking for the Irish State in 1925 and a milestone in Irish history, was built by the German firm Siemens-Schuckert. Writer Francis Stuart, controversial for his links with Nazi Germany, is buried at Fanore Cemetery in Craggagh. Written by journalists Fintan O’Toole and Ralf Sotscheck, and produced by the Goethe-Institut Irland, the map-based German Traces app highlights 20 locations around Ireland with connections to German people and stories; from Handel’s Messiah at Fishamble Street in Dublin to the children of Operation Shamrock in Glencree, County Wicklow to the Ballinderry Sword at the National Museum. Artists, writers and historical figures such as Agnes Bernelle, Imogen Stuart, Heinrich Böll, Aloys Fleischmann, Richard Castle and Friedrich Engels also feature with details of their Irish-German …

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From Luton to Lissycasey

In his half a century in the priesthood, Lissycasey parish priest Fr Joe Hourigan cites his four years in Luton as a seminal time in his life. Originally from Limerick, Fr Hourigan has been parish priest in Lissycasey since 2000, having moved from Ennis, where he was based in the cathedral for 21 years. On coming home from England, he served in Ruan and Dysart for four years. However, it’s his time in Bedfordshire, 1968 to 1972, that helped shape his outlook on life. “In a sense, my growing up was a very kind of sheltered life. The Luton experience was very big for me. I found it a great joy. I was full of energy and I had loads of scope for contact with people. I became my own person there,” Fr Hourigan told The Clare Champion. He feels that he broadened his horizons in England. “For me, it was a great growth experience and I had a kind …

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A greyhound’s life after racing

WHAT happens to greyhounds after their track or coursing career has ended? It’s been a difficult question to address in the past but more and more the breed is becoming popular as a pet. Rover Rescue, based at Shanaway Road in Ennis, has been involved in taking pound dogs since 2008 but until recently, greyhounds weren’t readily available for adoption as pets. Now, thanks to the co-operation of Frankie Coote and Ennis Pound, Deirdre Ryan has co-founded a group with Eileen Twomey called Clare Greyhound Project. “We aim to build alliances with rescue groups all over Europe who will get on board in helping us find these loving pets caring homes. Rover Rescue has already secured supports from greyhound rescues in the UK, as well as Italy and Sweden. Due to the recent implementation of the Pet Passport Scheme between the UK and Ireland, it can now cost up to €400 to get a dog to the UK. This is …

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Shannon Musical Society achieves its AIMS

Shannon Musical Society  is still celebrating its most successful haul of trophies in 21 years, after capturing six awards at the “musical Oscars”. Members came home from the Association of Irish Musical Societies (AIMS) with awards, with arms full of trophies last weekend. More than 1,100 people attended the glittering awards ceremony in Killarney’s INEC at the weekend. The most coveted award is for Best Overall Show and Shannon were delighted to receive second place, against stiff competition. The last time they were nominated for this award was in 2006, for The Wiz. Prior to that, it was for The Hot Mikado in 2000. The society was nominated for six awards after its production of Jesus Christ Superstar, which was staged last February. These included nominations for Best Front of House, Best Ensemble, Best Director, Best Overall Show, Best Visuals and Best Technical. SMS has won many awards over the years but not since 1993 has it been nominated for …

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Star to shine on Doolin Heritage weekend

The Star of Munster will  shine in Clare this Sunday as part of the Doolin Heritage Weekend. The band will perform at a céilí in the marquee at Hotel Doolin on Sunday at 8pm. The weekend’s events will raise funds for heritage projects in Doolin. The heritage weekend starts on Saturday at 11am in Hotel Doolin, with talks on archaeology, conservation and local history. The weekend is organised by Doolin Heritage, a voluntary group made up of people living in the area, who are working to create awareness of the heritage of the area, including monuments and buildings of archaeological and historical significance. One of the projects the group has been working on is the restoration of the old medieval church ruin in Killilagh. Without fundraising initiatives such as the heritage weekend, this work could not be carried out. “This year for the first time as part of the heritage weekend, a night of music and dance is being organised. …

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